If the me, who has lived life longer and is hopefully a bit wiser, could go back in time fourteen years and whisper in the ear of a younger, more naive version of myself while standing at the alter, face to face with the one I was about to pledge my life to, these are some words that I would share:
“You have dreamed of this day since you were a little girl, dreamed of one day becoming a wife and a mother. And for many years you questioned whether this dream would ever become a reality. You prayed and waited. You cried and begged. And all the while, this man was being molded and prepared for you and you didn’t even know it. But God did. He knew you would need him. He made your dreams come true. And you get to love him.
Standing here at this altar, your love is fanciful and idyllic, romantic and infatuating. But during these next fourteen years together, your belief in a storybook romance will be shattered by testing and time. Your beliefs about love will be rebuilt slowly and surely, on a firmer more grounded foundation. This man standing before you will show you a love that is real. A love that is strong and self-sacrificing. A love that is vulnerable and enduring. A love that evolves and changes. A velveteen kind of love. A love that becomes…. a sacred love.
His love will change you. He will challenge your ideals and perceptions; he will transform the way in which you see. Be ever so grateful that you get to love him.
When you boil over with anger and blame, he will give grace and forgiveness. In spite of your selfishness, he will give of himself. Through loss, he will be your stronghold. In battling cancer, he will be your sword and shield, protecting and fighting how and when and whatever he can. He will stay beside you, holding you, carrying you through. Be amazed that you get to love him.
In the years to come there will be pounds gained and hair lost. There will be messy and tired. There will be yelling and crying and hearts breaking and he will love you stronger and better each day. He could have left, so many men do. But he will stay with you… thank God for the chance you will have to still love him.”
Thank you, my love, for asking me to share my life with you fourteen years ago. Thank you for staying with me and showing me a love that is enduring and real. Thank you for being mine and for allowing me to be yours.
Here is my promise to you today… that I will love you more and better, that as long as my heart beats, it will beat for you. That I will love you forever and always. Whatever may come, evermore I am yours. I am ever so grateful and ever so blessed that I get to love you. Here’s to many more years together and watching our dreams unfold. i love you….